New Study Finds Gastric Bypass Lowers Alcohol Tolerance in Women

A newly published study reveals a recently unnoticed side effect of gastric bypass surgery, finding that women who underwent the surgery experience a drastically reduced tolerance of alcohol. Learn more here.

In a new study, researchers discovered that women who underwent gastric bypass surgery metabolize alcohol much faster than those who haven’t had the surgery. This is credited to changes in how alcohol is delivered post-surgery, which speed up its metabolism into the blood stream.

This increase in metabolism caused by gastric bypass more than doubles the blood alcohol content in women, increasing the BAC to more than double what it would be in a woman who hasn’t had the surgery. Specifically, the study found that women who underwent the surgery and consumed only two alcoholic beverages had a BAC comparable to women who had at least four drinks.

Additionally, the effects of alcohol were much faster in the women who underwent the surgery. They experienced a peak in their blood alcohol content 5 minutes after consuming alcoholic beverages, compared to 25 minutes in women who hadn’t had gastric bypass.

Study author, Yanina Pepino, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, said “The findings tell us we need to warn patients who have gastric bypass surgery that they will experience changes in the way their bodies metabolize alcohol. Consuming alcohol after surgery could put patients at risk for potentially serious problems, even if they consume only moderate amounts of alcohol.”

Pepino was also quick to point out that, though the current research only included women, men are likely to experience a similar effect and should be aware of the potential dangers.

Dina Edings, a representative for WLG, said in a statement “These findings can mean a world of difference when it comes to the safety of patients post-surgery. Those who are used to drinking quickly and feeling little to no effects from the alcohol will have to change their habits.”

Interested parties can find the report ready to download, for free, at

Release ID: 88399